top of page

THE OPEN BOOK Foundation: 21st Century Education in the Urban Community Panel Discussion

TOBF (The Open Book Foundation) was established in 2013 by a group of colleagues whom wanted to provide free (new) age appropriate books to low-income elementary schools. They've provided over 20,000 books to Title I schools since 2013 until now. They look to double that number by contributing to local schools in addition to places such as Haiti...


TOBF is a passionate non-profit organization that made "each one teach one" a personal conquest. They are aware that homework assignments are sent home by the teachers without a step-by-step guideline for the children to learn. Although we live in the age where modern technology has taken over, even in the class rooms, not all children have access to a computer inside their homes. This impairs the student whom has a learning disability. This impairs the visual learner who is not able to retain information .

I honestly believe that it's cheaper to send books home versus filling the classrooms with electronics that the kids aren’t allowed to take home.

TOBF also campaign for many other reasons that extend outside the classroom. For instance, on January 21, 2016, the faction of police, teachers, a principle, as well as a professor, held a panel discussion with locals from the community at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC.

The group talked about gentrification, cultural diversity, repetition, petitions, economics, zoning, paradigms, the unlawfullness of police brutality, as well as the positive police reinforcements. They conversed about fair education, as well as the negative effects of social media—stigmas that influence and challenge the urban communities across the world.

Audience members expressed outrage for the way that African Americans students are treated.

A panel member acknowledge that same sentiment. He also articulated that while there is a grave problem with the way Blacks are regarded, Hispanics face the same difficulties. The member went on to say that two students from his school was deported, and because of this unfortunate happening, attendance dropped drastically for several days with Hispanic students being afraid to return to school--and when they came, they brought their citizenship papers with them because they were scared of being singled out.

Already engulfed with dismay, this particular audience member echoed the same agitation about Blacks not being treated fairly, especially in school. He said that his children should be taught by teachers with the same colored skin as him, and that his child would relate more to a Black teacher. The parent also said that he doesn't feel that his child is learning his or heritage the way school is taught today.

The dialougue was intense and it radiated a deafening cry for change.

Many people emitted their concerns...

The most alluring form of resolution came from this guy, who didn't find a need to play the race card...

History teacher and panelist suggested that parents should educate their kids and read the book, “Lies My Teacher Told.” The book was written to provide substantial information on how Black History is being erased. The authors name is Glenn Beck.

An officer on the panel acknowledged that there is bad conduct within different police departments. He also said that the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police are trained to know and understand that along with body cams, people are standing around with cell phones, ready to film their movement. The CMPD practice good conduct so that they will know how to approach every situation with that in mind. He said that the community needs to report the bad conduct of officers and that there needs to be a level of trust between the people and the CMPD. Social media plays a role in that as well-- just because something happens in another city, that doesn’t mean that the officers are doing it here.

The exchange of ideas were so powerful and in-depth throughout the room that each visitor, as well as speaker, walked away with something, whether either party agreed with the topics or not…

As it was mentioned by one of the young ladies during the discourse, “Charlotte is one of the largest churched cities in the world. It’s faith based. Hope shouldn’t be broken.”

They all(audience as well as panel) finally clapped in unison…

For more information on the next community meeting, or if you'd like to know more about the TOBF, please visit:

Founder: Leon Webb

Director of Learning Development: Raven Corders

Vice President of Operations: Ryan Howell

Photo Credits: Tawanda Blake

20 views0 comments


bottom of page